"Imagine a piano in a room in the Chateau Marmont, located at the west end of Los Angeles’ famed Sunset Boulevard. What stories might that instrument have been witness to? A musician serenading a lover; the reflected visage of a Hollywood starlet doing lines of cocaine off of the piano’s polished black surface; or the discarded cigarette ash of LA mobsters conducting shady deals. Room 29, a collaborative album from Jarvis Cocker & Chilly Gonzales runs with this concept, exploring the debauchery and detachment that occurs within the walls of the famous Sunset Boulevard hotel.
In an attempt to stay true to the concept of a piano telling tales, Room 29 was recorded live with Cocker and Gonzales predominantly performing together without accompaniment. Whilst some tracks do feature additional vocals (such as soprano singer Maud Techa and film historian David Thomson) and instrumentation, this is a rarity, with the focus instead being on the interplay between Cocker’s vocals and Gonzales’ piano. The result is a melancholic, mournful rumination on fading Hollywood glamour, of hangovers filled with regret, broken glass and peeling wallpaper..." The 405